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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria  /  My Diary by Elsa Peters  /  JUNE 2018
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 1, 2018, 3:25pm
!st June 2018

So no white rabbits but one painter at eight thirty this morning.  I heard him speaking to my Avatar and thought he was off working somewhere else but ni, he appeared and said that he wanted to get my 'critter stuff' finished and dusted while it was in his skin off my nose.  I was still in my PJ's but helped him get the big ladder out of the workshop and erected in the little house and found him the piece of water pipe he needed to get the moth ball powder into the 'gap' which is supposed to do the trick.  When he was established I went in and got washed and dressed and into work clothes.  My Avatar appeared in the garden with cheesy breads and chocolate drinks for painter and myself but I refused the drink for's not one of my favourites so suggested she have it.  I walked the garden eating my breakfast and went into the little house complaining that there wasn't a lot of cheese in my bread so I was eating 'bread' without much cheese and eventually the birds got it.  We made out way up to the second level of the little house and the rest of the powder was delivered to the under eaves level and so far so sound of the critter but I did find another week's work for my painter.  The roof wood hasn't had insect inhibitor painted on the roof timbers so the work is there when he wants when it's raining he has work.  He also mentioned my well that needs cleaning out and with the aluminium ladder it's also on the cards...he needs a friend he can trust.  He'll go down with a hard had while with a bucket and rope, the mate can haul away.  Let's see what or who he comes up with to do the job.  He also mentioned that he had found some baby hedgehogs that appear to be abandoned so he's feeding them with cow's milk three times a day and they're in his garden...and I wanted pickies and the next question...was I heading into Kardjali and the reply was affirmative if he wanted to go.  He 'uumed' and 'arrghed'...complained that he always spends money when we go but I got changed into town gear, locked up and we left once the tools were away.

We set off down the back lane and we went straight to Kaufland and meandered round.  I bought more plants that had been reduced, meat, yogurt and lots more items while he settled for a couple of bottles of Tuborg beer, a small bottle of rakia, potatoes and that was about it.  We played the game where I guess the value of the trolley.  I was one lev out on his and guessed mine at being seventy five leva and it was seventy six and my painter was fully impressed....I paid up and we left and headed home since in the trolley was ice-cream that was on offer.  Back up the lane and I stopped off to take pickies of the baby hedgehogs.  He'd left them under a huge pile of straw just in case the mother looking for them but I suggested he put them in a box with the hay and into the shade. They were so small and I recommended that fed them more often but he wasn't impressed...three times with a hypodermic case with the needed removed and he was doing his best to maintain life.

I set off for home, put the Beast in the yard, the ice-cream in the freezer and the rest of the shopping away and the plants into water.,  They will be sited tomorrow.  The rest of the afternoon was spend sleeping on the sofa, it was really hot and thundery but it appears to have cleared away and settled into a lovely evening.  Nothing on for tomorrow so far but there again there was nothing on for today but it didn't work out that way.  Fingers crossed for the hedgehogs but I don't hold out much hope.  I picked up a steak reduced for quick sale and mushrooms so I'm making a steak, onion and mushroom baguette tonight.  LN....Kitchen bound.....and I'll update on the hedges.....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 1, 2018, 4:14pm; Reply: 1
And the pickies

Hedgehog pickies not very good, it was so bright out there today...ignore the shadow and I'll get more if they survive.  
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 2, 2018, 5:20pm; Reply: 2
Saturday 2nd June

Five thirty start and sat out with the first coffee of the morning and watched my little world come to life.  The sun wasn't up yet but not far away, the bee eaters were busy, the moon was still out and a pair of golden oriels flitted into the walnut but were far to quick to get the camera on them.  They are such nervous birds.  The sun came up, time for the second cup and then maggies put in an appearance and nosily told the rest of the birds that the walnut was hers.  They weren't having any of it and she descended to the grass and strutted until more reinforcements came and then they headed for the burning bucket.  There was another largish visitor but from the distance and the leaves I wasn't and still not sure what it was.  It appeared to be black with a reddish tinge to the breast but couldn't identify it.  It should be back tomorrow.

As for the rest of the day.  My first mistake was to try to locate the storage bags that you can suck the air out of with the hoover.  They weren't where I thought they would be but now they're sitting on my bed upstairs and awaiting filling with winter sweaters.  The second mistake was to find out the clothes that my imminent visitor leaves here and get them washed and on coat hangers in the downstairs bedroom but prior to that, I had to remove my winter jackets and again, they're sitting on my bed upstairs.  That seemed like a big job so I pottered in the garden, planted up the newbies that I'd bought yesterday, found a very tired looking weigela that the poppies had swamped by the plum tree so the poppies are no more and the plant is sitting in a bucket of water and will be found a new place tomorrow.  I punctured holes in one of the little containers that I bought and now the snapdragons are having another fight for life on the terrace.  I've got loads of them so many seeds from such a little packet.  I also washed out the large plastic box that was sitting in the garage and now sitting on the terrace.  Now the patio cushions have somewhere to go if it rains.

My five minutes rest turned into an hours snooze and then I made my third mistake deciding to hoover the guest room and then that would be finished.  Both hoovers, big and small needed cleaning and the little one's hose was blocked so remedial measures were a piece of wire to dislodge the blockage.  Eventually I was good to go, clothes are back in the room one less thing to be concerned about.  The next mistake was to wrestle with the outside table that spend it's winter indoors and put it back where it belongs and when that was outside, the carpet came up, I washed the stairs down and decided to apply a coat of lamp oil to put some life back in the wood.  Done dusted and I've had enough for one day.  Tomorrow I'll be moving small tables and chairs and finishing off the winter lounge area and they might even include taking the pipes out of the pechka juts in case we have a cold spell while my guest is here.    With a week to go...nothing is desperate yet... ;) ;)

So just after eight my time.  I'm not hungry but feel I need to eat so I'll probably resort of natural yogurt and have a clean out day.  I had yogurt for breakfast but it was hot on the heels of three slices of toast with butter and strawberry jam so not such a good start.  Last night's supper that I'd really looked forward to was a complete disaster.  The steak was tender but on the first mouthful it tasted sour despite being in date so I settled for fried mushrooms and onions on a baguette.  Not quite what it was suppose to be but filled a gap.  Lovely evening but still got to sort my bed out or I might be back on the sofa tonight.  LN...I joke when I say 'my mistakes'....they're all opportunities for me to shine and be resilient.
LN....An hour should do it....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 3, 2018, 5:23pm; Reply: 3
Sunday 3rd June

Five thirty start again and was up to see the sunrise and by seven I was out in the garden fiddling around.  I spotted Harold heading for my neighbour's veg garden and he was closely followed by the farmers dog but I reckon he lives on the edge every day...rather like Peter Rabbit and Mr Mcgregor,  It was a day of doing a little inside and then outside, I had a bonfire, met the bread van as I was walking over to see my Avatar at eight thirty to ask her if he was due to come today or not and he stopped and handed me an uncut.  I paid up, my Avatar shouted that she wanted one too and without money she got one....and I joked that mine had cost two leva not one.  She had the gossip to tell's quite nice being in the loop but it only compounds what I know about a certain person but karma is a wonderful just have to wait for it to kick in.  So breakfast for me was yogurt and jam on the terrace in the sun and then the work commenced.  I removed the carpets from the winter lounge and scrubbed them with household floor cleanser, hosed them down and the lighter one was put on the line and the smaller heavier one on the sunbed to drip and dry.  At this point another neighbour arrived and again I was helping to pick cherries and in the little house she spied potatoes that I'd been given but not eaten fully chitted and she took those to plant up.  And she hadn't finished there....eventually she left with petunias, snapdragons. spider plants and she had her eye on a few more babies that were coming on but I told her no until they were bigger.  She's one of the daughters and takes 'no' very well unlike some of the older ones that are persistent.  Ten minutes later she was back with some plants for me...I'd tried to grow them but they'd come to nothing so I have more planting tomorrow.

Floors washed over downstairs apart from the kitchen, I stopped for lunch, finished a huge bowl of ice-cream and promptly fell asleep waking up at three.  I checked out the carpets and they were both nearly dry and I was keeping a north eye on the weather.  There were a few claps of thunder and the sky was getting darker but it seemed to blow over but then came back with a vengeance.  Meanwhile I'd got the carpet in and laid, sorted out the under stairs now that the table was no longer there, removed the seat pads from the benches outside and put them in the dry and then it was all systems go to close the door to the terraces, switch off the electric to computers and the house phone and wait for the storm to pass.  Things were flying around again, the heavens opened and the garden looks much greener and fresher for it....but I really don't like thunder and lightening when the power keeps going one and off...but at least it come on and stayed on.

Boiler on for a bath...I need to linger after wrestling with the carpets and some of my heavier furniture.  Lunch was pretty substantial so not in the running for anything yet.  The washing up has been done, the kitchen is tidy so I'm resting on my laurels so to speak tonight.  No bee-eaters around because there are no bees...all tucked up in the hives for the night if they have any sense at all.  LN...I shall be tucked up in mine soon enough....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 4, 2018, 6:49pm; Reply: 4
Monday 4th June

Silly early o'clock start and the man with the loudspeaker at five singing out his prayers to his almighty only had the dogs in the next village for company.  Now I love the mosque and the gentle chanting but I get this straight across the hillside at a fairly high volume and it's not even coming from a mosque but from a CD player.  Bahhh humbug and it seems to taker ages for the dogs to settle but I'm up and at more sleep for me.

There was no need to water the garden, the overnight rain had worked wonders and there was this lovely glow of morning through the mist as the sun came up.  I was fair energised to get some washing in despite the weather. I cleared off the winter lounge table and sorted out the 'might come in useful' bits that have accumulated there and removed the tins with candles for the  'we might have a power cut' and put them in a less visible position.  Everything now is down to a much more streamline look.  Breakfast of toast and marmalade while walking the garden and the decision was made to head to Kardjali to replace the printer cartridges purchased in error and to see if they would exchange them for me.  I didn't have the  receipt for them but thought it worth a try.  I stopped off at my Avatars on the way and asked if she wanted anything but she declined.  Another neighbour came into the garden and demanded to know where I was going but I wasn't having any of her bully tactics.  She told me to sit down in the garden but I said that I was off and because she only speaks Turkish I made out I didn't understand and my Avatar played along and didn't translate.  The new neighbour in frustration told me to go and I said I would when I was ready and where the others jump and say 'how high', I don't.....that's just me. ;)

Off down the back lane and I didn't see the heap of grass hiding the hedgehogs in my painter's garden which either means that mother has found them or they are no longer with us and I fear the latter.  Unfortunately he wasn't around to ask.  Over to the pay car park, into the cheapy shop and picked up three working t-shirts and a lovely dress for the little one and a pair of leather shoes which might fit Cinderella all for a total of four leva.  Silly money.  Back to my bank but unfortunately I hadn't brought the correct documentation with me to sort of a better interest rate for my 'just in case' money so that can be sorted next week. I walked down to the market and bought three tomato plants to replace the ones that had gone to an early grave and headed for M-Tel and tried to get a new contract for my house phone and put it in my name not the company name.  Unfortunately I can't port the number over so I told them to leave it as it was and finally to the shop with the wrongly purchased printer cartridges to see if they would change them for me without a receipt.  All seemed to be going well, the man on reception said that it was OK and understood how I had been given the wrong ones and then we arrived at the cash desk.  Eventually they scrabbled round and found a way round it and I paid the difference.  Great customer service.  Lidl for a few items and diesel for the Beast, back home via the lane and the rain started but was over by the time I got back but an hour or so later, it clouded over and the thunder rolled in and it's been a grim afternoon for most of it.  

Head down for an hour or so, Avatar arrived with a dish that I'd taken food over in and the biscuits from under the cardigan and I sent her off with a couple of bananas which again got tucked under the cardigan for the return trip.  They all seem to like to know what's going on.  The tomatoes are in where the old ones once stood, I reckon they're going to get watered naturally and I'll check up on them in the morning.  Half nine my time and soon be time to lay my weary head to rest and fingers crossed I don't get my early morning alarm call and manage to sleep through it.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except the get stuck in to the upstairs leaving the kitchen as the only thing left to do.  LN....D-Day approaches...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 5, 2018, 5:38pm; Reply: 5
Tuesday 5th June

And my man down in the next village was playing his 'prayer' at what seems to be an increased volume again and the dogs love it.  It doesn't help that he's deaf and can't really judge the volume....I'll have to send my painter round again and even my Avatar is complaining and it's her religion.  I can't say anything being an outsider and wouldn't...I'll leave others to do it.  So this morning I'd done washing and pegged it out, pottered in the garden all in PJ's when I heard the bread van.  I headed for the gate, shouted to Avatar to see if she was going down to the van and she was so I put in an order for a sliced loaf.  I quickly got dressed by the time she'd gone down and got back, and got out the lev to pay for it.  She didn't want the money but I insisted and even offered her the ten stotinki change for getting it.  I'm generous like that... ;)  She then asked if she could have some more cherries and we headed for the tree with the carrier bag and we filled it up for her.  I had toast for breakfast after she left and then headed out to move plants around.  The soil is too rich for the nasturtiums and there's no way they're going to flower...just put out lots of leaves so they've been re-sited.  They're in and around the garden, in their place are the small pretty cactus type flowers that seem to last for ever and fingers crossed they take root and last out the summer.  

I moved inside and attacked the kitchen.  I was surprised by another visitor from the half house next door with a packet of coffee and some sweets so I invited her in and we sat for a while with coffee.  Apparently she's over from Turkey for two weeks and the son and her husband arrive at the weekend.  Their plan is not to do much with the house this year, the fence needs securing to keep out the cows so I might sell them some barbed wire that's left over from my wall build and the house can come later.  Off she went delivering gifts to the rest of the villagers and she actually said that she didn't know why she did it...I suppose it's an old custom.

And then clouds came over, there was a clap of thunder so I got the washing in at speed and then it started.  It was pleasant at first...I sat out in the rain but then it really started throwing it down but I forgot to take in the chair cushions....I'll leave it for nature to sort it out.  I was pretty surprised to see birds congregating on the  roof of the little house and the sheep were standing completely still in the next was almost as if they were anticipating something to happen which it didn't.  It's stopped now and the garden looks exceedingly green and it must have done my new plant transfers the world of good.

The rest of the afternoon was spent putting winter clothes away and summer clothes out.  It's made me realise that I have to do a drastic cull and find a local charity to hand them over to but at least the hard work is done...sorting it.  No sleep today despite my five start, I should sleep well tonight...fingers crossed.  So far there's no great urge to head for the kitchen and get cooking.....maybe later.  LN....Just got to find my bed......LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 6, 2018, 4:34pm; Reply: 6
Wednesday 6th June

Five thirty start and it was a damp old morning and that wasn't all....the sun came up, the sky was blue and the heavens opened from virtually nowhere but at least my garden didn't need any attention.  I was doing 'bits' again....I'm doing my spring clean late but I am going into corners.  

I was still in my PJ's when I heard a rattling on the outer door and it was my Avatar complete with black plastic bag.  I unlocked the door and she handed me the bag and told me to be careful it was hot and it was.  I had home-made banitsa for breakfast.  We walked the garden, the fain had stopped by this point and off she went and I escaped to the upstairs landing and to the computer and devoured the lot.  I quickly got washed and dressed and was heading back with the washed dish back in the black plastic bag but heard voices coming from Beyser's garden and saw that Avatar was there.  I didn't venture in, there was a little group so I indicated that I was returning the 'bag' and hung it on the fence and skipped back home.  

I removed the woven rug from under the log basket and got it in the washing machine and generally swept the area and on my way back from pegging out I noticed that one of the plants in the veranda was struggling.  I took pity on it and and repotted it and while I was at it I did the other little one that's been hanging around.  Both of them I took for being blue poppies but they're obviously not the same....maybe one might produce a blue flower but I'm not taking bets on which one it will be.

The rest of the day has been taken up with cleaning the bedrooms and finishing off the sorting out of the clothes.  The twin guest is now pristine, the bathroom is finished apart from the idea that's niggling me that I might make a new blind,  It's only for anticipated guest always uses the bathroom downstairs.  Just my bedroom to do and I'll change the bedding tomorrow morning, kitchen shelving wants wiping over and the vegetable rack needs the once over.  I suppose I spent too long in the garden and neglected the house but this week it's all been back to shipshape and Bristol fashion.  LN....Getting there.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 7, 2018, 4:40pm; Reply: 7
Thursday 7th June

Five thirty start, coffee and back to bed until the day got going.  It was a damp start to the day with mist in the valley and the poor sun had to work its way over the clouds over Kardjali.  I went out with my coffee and sat listening to the birds, my hiccupping woodpecker is still around, the magpies were having a right old tussle on the grass and squawking really loudly.  There was no victor…they all shot off in different directions.  I had a shower and washed my hair, scooped it up and headed down to the bread van. Avatar had heard my gate and emerged from Beyser’s garden, we said our good mornings and she mentioned that Beyser had asked why I hadn’t gone into her garden yesterday morning so I made a point of going in accompanied by Avatar.  We sat berating each other for not speaking each others language,  I understand Avatar well and she understands my Bulgarian but despite always living in the area, Beyser really only speaks Turkish so Avatar becomes the translator…Lord help us….

Five minutes later the van came so I got a sliced and unsliced and a packet of biscuits just in case Ms. D of S arrived with the little one.  I skipped home, put another of the rugs in the washing machine, pegged out the one that I’d washed last night and stripped the bed.  I also set to with hammer and nails and the tomatoes are now supported as are the cucumbers and despite the wind…the device is still standing.  I carried on with the cleaning, only the kitchen floor to do, shelving sorted, bedding washed and back on the bed and fortunately everything was dry before the heaven opened.  It started off by getting darker and the cloud over one of the range to the south looked like a pyroclastic surge was about to take place. At this point the wind got up so I was closing doors and getting things in and then the rain came along with thunder and both sheet and fork lightening.  I was a little concerned, the farmers’ wives were driving the sheep home huddling under umbrellas and with the lightening…I was waiting for them both to get poofed into eternity but they obviously got home OK or I’d have heard by now.

All back to normal now, the wind as dropped, a few high clouds and the sun is heading home.  Ms D of S is heading over tomorrow at some point so I better take the fridge magnets off and move the breakables up a level.  I was going to cook but I really can’t be bothered….I can make a sandwich.  LN…Achieved a lot today….LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 8, 2018, 4:40pm; Reply: 8
Friday 8th June

Five thirty start, washing in and it's a wonder that my machine isn't waving the white flag...enough, enough.  Last load in in the morning and that's it for a while and back to normal.  Pegged it out by seven in the morning mist and it ws probably wetter than when it came out of the machine after half an hour on the line but the weather was destined to improve so I didn't fret myself.

I check emails and messenger and there was a suggestion from Ms D of S that we headed for the indoor pool today and I took her up on it,,,I needed a day away from it and on my final countdown list I had only the kitchen to finish and that was really only a five minute job.  So I confirmed that I would be round at hers for ten and bang on time I arrived.  I had breakfast before I set off and set off in the mist but got better as I neared her village.  Little one was looking pretty cool, we had a little catch up and then set off in her car to the indoor pool.  There was no one else in the water and it was warmer that the last time we were there.  The little one was being a little whingey in the changing room and we were anticipating that it would be a very short visit but after a while she settled down and ended up enjoying it and even confident enough to stand up on her own.  We were both surprised.  The nice thing about the pool is that there is a baby pool and with no one there it's even better.  We stayed in the water for about an hour and a half and I was doing leisurely lengths of the pool and looking out of the back window I noticed that there is another outside pool for hotel guests.  That's one to remember...a night's stay is only forty leva with a free pool and is a bit no brainer when we pay ten leva each for entry into the pool.

Back to the changing room, quickly into dry clothes and over to the restaurant for cheesy chips and drinks and joy oh joy, there was a mini-indoor play area and again, she had this to herself only stopping for chips and more squash.  Into the car and within two minutes her little eyes were going southwards and when we got back she was still flat out so deposited on a big comfy chair until she came back to planet earth.  She was a little star today...another couple of visits and she'll be with arm-bands and sorting herself out,  I stopped for coffee and got home for about four and was really disappointed with the state of the new containers.  These are supposed to be emptied weekly...I'll check on it over the next few days just to see that the firm is sticking to the contract.  It's costing enough...I've just finished the kitchen and washed the floor over, last flash with hoover in the morning and then it can go away for the next five weeks or so.  Time I got the washing in and put it away, nothing much else to do apart from try to find something for supper.  LN....I'm now ready for my guest....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 9, 2018, 6:46pm; Reply: 9
Saturday 9th June

Five thirty start and it was all systems go from the beginning.  I had my mental list but it needed converting to paper to ease it along and so I did.  The only thing not achieved is dead-heading the roses and that will save for tomorrow along with picking the remaining cherries...

Last of the washing was done,  pegged out and dry in quick sticks and at eight I saw Avatar coming back down the road with Remsier's husband in hot pursuit and there appeared to be a problem with the donkey.  They both went into the field and the donkey was lying down and wouldn't get up.  Drastic action was taken,,,the poor thing was hit with a stick for encouragement as if that would work and shouted at.  Eventually it must have got tired of all the 'encouragement' and got to its feet and nonchalantly started its breakfast...everything normal in its book of life.  As it walked away I noticed that it had a large scratch on its back flank and apparently it had caught it on the fence.

So back to my own area of concern and working my way down my list ...but ended up doing Sudoku which wasn't scheduled in and I ended up doing the Saturday DM one in record time.  Saturday and Sunday usually pose a problem but today sweat.  So a phone call from my to be guest to say that he was in arrivals and waiting for his luggage.  Apparently there wasn't enough space on the plane so it had to go into the hold.  A few seconds later he rang to tell me that his suitcase had been raided and all the electrical stuff was missing and five minutes later to say that he'd picked up somebody else' luggage, his was locked and this one wasn't and there was a very confused young lady who couldn't understand why hers was now locked.  Any way...all back to normal but it delayed him getting the twelve bus down to Kardjali which gave me another hour or so.

Showered and hair washed, dressed and then decided to sweep the little house workshop floor and that definitely wasn't on the 'to-do' list.  So Kardjali for four this afternoon and went to Kaufland with my list in hand and got most of the staples that I needed.  I parked up in the bus-station car park  and my phone went...he was in the cafe next to the car park so we soon found each other.  Luggage loaded and it was the correct one, Lidl for a few essentials like wine and beer and home for around six.  Shopping put away, suitcase unpacked, supper of pork thingies with wedge potatoes...everything easy tonight.  Washing up done and now quick update and it won't be long before I hit the sack.  No photos's been a funny old day and tomorrow will be a potter day.  LN....Eventful but with a good outcome....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 10, 2018, 5:05pm; Reply: 10
Sunday 10th June

Six thirty start for me and I crept down the stairs and heard the gentle snoring of my guest so made coffee and headed out.  I sat out on the terrace absorbing the morning and as I headed in for another coffee I disturbed a lizard and we were both surprised.  I went in for the camera and managed to catch him on the edge of the bench before he hid himself away under the bucket so I left him be.  I set to in the garden and dead-headed the roses and the yellow daisies and felt very pleased with myself...another item off the list.

At nine I was getting peckish and still no sign of life so I cooked bacon and fried and egg and was just about to sit down with it when the mirage appeared.  I put the kettle on for him and then left him to cook his own breakfast....I'm such a superb's that that keeps people away.  So at tenish I had a surprise visit from the Librarian and then a minute later the outer veranda door opened and Remsier was checking that it was OK for the youngsters to come up later. climb the tree and pick the linden blossom.  My guest messed around with the Librarian's computer, she'd somehow managed to snap the charging cable and he managed to fix it for her.  Off she went, we went back to the gardening and I've planted up the acers, an oak and four jasmine that arrived with him from the UK.

It got pretty warm this afternoon so I settled in to watch the Triathlon from Leeds and joy of joy...UK first and second.  Back out to the garden, the youngsters came to pick the blossom and I managed to put supper in and it's ready any minute now so I'm not going to linger longer.  Nothing on the agenda so far for tomorrow...I think he's just enjoying the peace and quiet.  LN...A few from today....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 11, 2018, 7:04pm; Reply: 11
Monday 11th June

Six thirty start for me and I heard noises in my kitchen and I reckoned it was either a big mouse of my guest was having an early morning.  It wasn't a mouse....Coffee was made and presented to me, we sat outside and enjoyed the view.  My Avatar has asked me for some linden blossom from the tree in the garden so I got the loppers out and took off two laden branches and as I delivered them to her noticed that she was sitting with two more neighbours in the next garden.  I went in to chat and in turn they wanted some so I chopped another four branches and took them over and said they could split it.  It was quite chill and the plan for today was to get my car into the garage early for them to investigate why my needle on the temperature gauge wasn't moving far and as I watered the garden I ended up weeding the two smaller beds and removing the bindweed and exposing my one germinated carrot.  The ants must have had a field day.  Beetroot is doing well though and I have two cucumbers already and flowers on my tomatoes.  It's veritably put to shame by my neighbours offerings but hey...I have more flowers and shrubs.

I decided we would have breakfast in town and it would give my guest the opportunity to meet and greet the friends he's made over the years of coming here.  The Beast was dropped off and the problem explained to one of the guys that works there and he said that it was because I was running the 'climatic' which I knew to be rubbish.  I saw the garage owner as we walked back to town and explained the problem to him and he said that he would look at it for me.  So breakfast of banichka and yogurt drink, we walked the market, bought a couple of antique brass coat hooks for the second hand salesman.  My guest hadn't seen the mosque since it had been renovated and what a good job they've made of it.  I hadn't been inside the courtyard but it was a very peaceful oasis in the midst of the market bustle.  Very expensive renovation paid for by some kind people in Bursa in Turkey.  Spotted the stork in the bus-station with a couple of chicks but the one was camera shy and then we headed back to the garage.

As I approached the Beast, the garage owner was coming from the opposite direction and he'd been looking at the old vehicles in the yard and found the transmitter he wanted to fix the Beast.  It was put in place but unfortunately it was the wrong one and I've just been messaged to say that the correct one has arrived and can be fitted tomorrow.  That's service for you,,,

Home for about one thirty and we both got our heads down for a while.  I went into a really deep sleep and couldn't have told night from day and it took me ages to come round.  I popped over to my Avatar's house and delivered cucumber that she'd asked me to buy for her and all hell had broken out apparently about the linden flowers.  One neighbour complained about the quantity I'd delivered to Avatar, the other said that the second lot wasn't enough to share so the other one said keep it then so she did and one was left with nothing.  I went round and asked the 'little bear that was left with none' if she wanted any and she said that she did so I told her that tomorrow I'll take her some round after breakfast...children egh...big children...

Spicy sausage with onion tonight and different sorts of salad finished off with bottled plums and yogurt and thoroughly sufficed.  Kitchen finished and tidy for tomorrow and again....back to the garage...not sure what the rest of the day holds.  Almost ten my time...soon to get my little head down.  LN...Splendid day....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 12, 2018, 5:08pm; Reply: 12
Tuesday 12th June

Seven start and I was out cutting more linden blossom for one of my 'older' children just to keep her happy.  As I was walking down to the bread van I noticed her more some dried looking branches so I asked her if she really needed them since she had some and she said that hers were not good and yes she would appreciate some...Babes egh.  So I came back from the van with cheesy bread and an unsliced and breakfast was bacon held in a cheesy bread sandwich which went down very well.  And then off to the garage so they could fit the new part.

We arrived and they had the part already but had to wait for the engine to cool down before they could fit it.  We sat in the shade, I'd remembered to take the Fitbit down that I'd bought for my student as a gift for finishing school and he's soon to be off to university in Sofia.  He chatted with us for a while and his English has really come on in leaps and bounds and I mentioned that I'd been to Cappadocia for a holiday and he said that if I'm going again he wants to come.  I've got the impression that he thinks I'm quite adventurous for an oldy...and I'm now adopted as his second baba.... All I need is my actual grandson over here and we can arrange a trip...that would be fun.  Beast fixed, checked out what could be my new runaround and gave it a test drive round the yard.  It was a bit confusing for me going back to a manual car...I'd forgotten what to do with my feet...doh.  My student gave the Beast a wash while I was playing with the soon to be newby and I headed up to pay for the repairs at the shop, we did a little shopping and headed to the soup kitchen for lunch.  

Back home for two more or less. I got my head down for a while and then headed out to do a spot of tidying on the little house terrace and upset an ants' nest in the process.  Supper in the oven and we have chicken with a pepper sauce with little roasted jacket potatoes...nothing too strenuous on the kitchen front for me.  A few pickies of the garden. it might be a day at the pool tomorrow if we can find one with any water and if not....another day of gardening...there's always something to do.  Supper is ready, down to keep my guest company, he's done some more of the lawn today so I've kept him busy....LN...Let's get fed.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 13, 2018, 6:11pm; Reply: 13
Wednesday 13th June

Silly night last hands felt like they'd been nibbled and itched like fury so I got out of bed and found the sting relief cream from the bathroom and liberally applied it.  I got back into bed and there was a zzzz of a mosquito or a gnat but didn't manage to spot it.  I played stupid soda crush until my eyes were heading southwards and managed to get off again until six thirty. Out with a coffee on to the terrace and the sun was way up in the sky already.  I watered the garden and the terrace pots and noticed that I now have four cucumbers and flowers on my tomatoes.  The cucumbers are about four inches long...such a pity I don't like it but my guest will be force fed on them.....soaked in vinegar with onion I can just about manage,  Bacon and eggs for breakfast to set us up for the day...more coffee, kitchen tidied and to horse.

It was a full day gardening ...the strimmer was out and I managed to get down to the bottom of the garden and round the flower beds.  I took down three mid-sized wild plum trees from the little bed in front of the burning barrel and that should give a lot more light to the shrubs that I planted last autumn.  There's a couple of honeysuckle down there that definitely need more light and should be happier now.  I tackled under my favourite tree, there was a lot of grass making its way through the juniper and cotoneaster used as ground cover and now it's sorted.  Haciber was on duty today and we had delivered three pancakes, I had mine with lemon and sugar and my guest had his with fig jam and lemon juice.  Brief interlude in a hectic afternoon.

My final trip of the day was to take the food that my Avatar had prepared down to the mosque for the hojja and the rest of the boys.  We put it into a plastic basket that I have which they were all intrigued with and orders were placed,  I dropped her off and noticed that the fizzy had somehow not made it to the mosque so I offered to take it down.  She said that there was no need but in my book ....if you have nothing to drink you can't sing and in Bulgarian the verbs to drink (pia) and sing (pea) seem to go together so I came up with pia, ne pea....and on the way back I let a white car with Turkish number plates pull out in front of me and when I got back to my Avatars it was her daughter arrived from Turkey.  I came back from Avatars with a bowl of rice, I fried off a spicy sausage with onion, added the rice and that was supper for us followed by a banana and creamy sheep's yogurt.  Sorry no pickies...I didn't give it a thought while I had the strimmer at the ready.  I did try to take a small green spider with red markings on its back but it was just too quick for me.  It's a late update.....more poppies to come out tomorrow and iris to be distributed...I'm on to the tarting stage.  LN....Time to relax....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 14, 2018, 6:49pm; Reply: 14
Thursday 14th June

Woke up at five this morning with the bedroom light on and I'd obviously gone to sleep playing a stupid game last night...and I didn't win.  So the light went off, the covers were pulled up to the nose and off I went again until six thirty and I got out of bed just before seven.  Down for coffee, out on the terrace but it was a bit of a cold morning so I didn't stay still for long, I started on the little bed bear to my special tree and gave it a deep old dig to get rid of the rubble before planting it up.  I went down to the bread van coming back with farm eggs and a sliced and by this time my guest had risen so I made a start on breakfast.  I was running with the philosophy of a good breakfast and that should do me until supper time but there wasn't a snowballs chance in hell today.  I fried off a spicy sausage to use it up, added bacon slices and fried a couple of eggs and that was followed by toast and my grapefruit marmalade which went down really well and ten out of ten from my guest.  Washing was done and pegged out and fortunately the clouds lifted and it turned into a marvellous morning.  I spotted a frog in the water bowl in the yard and the poor thing looked like he was trying to get out and couldn't manage it so I put a half tile in the bowl thinking that he would manage to climb up it...He still appeared to be floundering so I left him to it and no sign of him, her or it...later.

So as for food for the rest of the day, it was the day for fluffy pancakes and they came in thick and fast.  My neighbour from Turkey was the first to arrive, secondly was Beyser, thirdly my neighbour who has the garden next to my house and last but not least...Zelinger from the bottom of the village.  Haciber wasn't making this year, she was off to a funeral and as for my Avatar...I shall have to have words.  Now as well as the ladies providing food the children come round for sweets and I was given wrong information by Ms D of S.  She said they would be round tomorrow...Friday but when five little ones appeared at my door it was as well that I keep a jar of sweets at the ready.  I put some into each of the bags and off they went.  And next week they'll be off to the dentist...they aren't encouraged to look after the ones that they have.  According to Ms D of S...her neighbour got it wrong... :-/ :-/

Carried on with the planting, moved down to the bottom of the garden and removed the old poppies from one of the beds and then the clouds rolled over and the thunder started.  I don't stay out long when it gets like that but I took in the washing pretty quickly and not long after the heavens opened and it chucked it down.  Rain stopped play so we moved inside, I watched a little TV-Catchup, started to read a real paper book but couldn't really get in to it.  Out for the tools when it stopped raining, washed some of the windows in the little house but they look like they need another going over.  I thought the rain would wash off the soapy stuff but no way...the eaves protected them...back to the drawing board Cecil.

Walked the garden with my guest and we sat at the bottom on the wall looking at the different coloured greens that make up nature.  He is amazed at the amount of unadulterated land there is around my village and the other villages in the neighbourhood.  That's why I like living here.  Time to make supper and there were potatoes left from yesterday that I fried off with an onion, a tine of corned beef was added along with baked beans and some sliced beetroot...delicious and it filled the gap.  Kardjali tomorrow to see if my favourite swimming pool has been filled yet, a top up of provisions and probably lunch in town.  LN...Reminder to self...check the weather forecast....LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 15, 2018, 5:54pm; Reply: 15
Friday 15th June

Fairly early night but the neighbours were out in the garden yattering away and I had to shut the bedroom window. It's Star Mushe's old property and it was a good job he was only five feet six more or less..he could stand up in it but I have have to be short to live there so obviously, they're living outside and hence the noise and when it rains there's no roof on so it seems through the concrete and everything gets damp.  They've painted the well though in the land going down the lane and that looks much better... ;)

Not much was achieved this morning...I paid a visit to Avatar to find out if she wanted me fetch the containers from the mosque and my shopping basket and she did.  I got the Beast out about nine and went down there but everything was unlocked but no sight of the hojja.  I reckon he'd done his morning prayers and was getting his head down before the next rendering.  I couldn't even see the things I was supposed to collect so I didn't longer long.  Cooked breakfast and in the Beast by ten fifteen heading in to Kardjali.  I had to go to the bank, we went in to the cheapy shop and got a newish t-shirt for my guest....he comes with very few clothes and keeps a supply here so one more for the collection.  After that we headed out of town to my other favourite swimming pool to check out whether or not the pool had water in it and it did.  Unfortunately we'd not bothered with swim gear since it had forecast thunder and rain but only a smattering of rain came down.  Kaufland for top-ups, Billa and we've now got a new hardware come home ware supermarket where the oriental shop used to be.  A few of the other shops are going to be hit by it but I think it is more for the Greeks from over the border...they appear to spend a lot of time and money here...things are much cheaper.   We gave Lidl a miss, the weather had really closed in and I just wanted to get home, unpack and grab myself a coffee.  There were some really loud claps of thunder and lightening strikes on the way home and it was a toss up whether I took the low road or the dirt road home but I settled for the dirt road.

We had a snack for lunch and I put a chicken in the oven and we've had an early supper.  Everything was finished off and washed away by seven and there's half a chicken left for cold tomorrow.....organisation at its peak.  I've just had a phone call from Guldjan who is now living in Germany.  She posted a picture on FB of her and her husband at a party and the lighting was very green and so were the faces on here photo.  I commented that any friend of Shrek was a friend of mine...and she phoned to explain that they were fine.  World cup seems to be interfering with the usual tv programmes....bah humbug.  Lovely still evening and hoping it stays that was for tomorrow.  Nothing planned but watch this space.  LN....Down to entertain my guest....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 16, 2018, 3:51pm; Reply: 16
Saturday 16th June

Five thirty start and it was grey as you like...or don't like.  No mountains in sight and even the bottom of the garden was nowhere to be seen.  I grabbed coffee and went back to bed and had another attempt at yesterday's print out of the DM Sudoku and I failed again but this time it went well until the final few numbers.  You change one, then you change another and then you rip it up and start again.  I went down for more coffee at seven thirty, guest up and running by eight and breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs by eight thirty.  I washed up and tidied the kitchen and planned to go outside to plant up some more baby plants but the weather put paid to that.  The thunder rolled in along with forked lightening and then the rain came down.  It was a time for setting up camp on the sofa and waiting for it to clear itself up.  It looked like it was going to and then it started all over again.  Eventually at three it cleared, I dug round the little beds in the grave garden and planted up marigolds, petunias and snapdragons, cleared the weeds from the Greek plant square bed that used to be the burning pit to give the zinnia a fighting chance and planted more in the mulberry garden along the side.  It's all go here.

I headed down the garden and started to dig out a hole near the bottom wall to put in a buddliea and that was hard going.  It's pretty much all shale down there but eventually I removed enough to fill the hole with soil from the smaller bed down the bottom and stick some plant feed in there.  I took the pot of buddliea that I'd grown from cuttings to the veg patch and separated them out and have five with really good roots on.  One is now fighting for survival at the bottom of the garden the others are in individual pots with some going to Ms D of S to go against her fence.  I've also got about six rooted forsythia and some that I'm not sure what they are....time will tell.

Six thirty my time and tools away.  We've had a few rumbles of thunder yet again and looking at the long term weather it looks like it will be like this for the next few days.  I'm about to go to the kitchen and do something dramatic with the remains of last night's chicken...probably a I'm not going to longer too long over the blog.

Nothing on the cards for's not worth going far if the weather isn't good....there's always something to do in the garden and I've picked up some cheapy curtains and they need making into covers for the outside furniture...we'll see when that happens.  LN....Kitchen and supper.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 17, 2018, 5:18pm; Reply: 17
Sunday 17th June

So it was a five thirty start ad then I went back off again until just before eight.  That’s a lie in for me.  Down for coffee, more or less time for breakfast so I delivered bacon and eggs followed by toast and it’s done us for most of the day apart from a few pickings of chip sticks and sesame biscuits.

It’s been a gardening day today again.  It was out with the strimmer and I cleared around the house, the outside grass and the pathway to the grave garden from the main gate.  I’ve also cut back the bushes and have lots of cuttings waiting to be planted up,,,may be I could set up business selling them…We also trimmed the bush behind the berberis halfway down the wall and I cleared the weeds and wild flowers from the base of it and it’s now looking better down there.  I carried on along the wall and removed the old straggly poppies that had seen better days and started digging out the bindweed that was busily growing until I got fed up and moved on to the bottom garden.  I’d spotted a patch of self set tobacco and now they’re inside the garden not out of it.  Next I moved to the little garden at the side of the frog garden and attacked the weeds…there are just so many of them and in competition with the flowers,  Flowers win, weeds removed.

So we packed up at six deciding that we would go out for supper tonight but then nature looks to be against us. The clouds rolled over, the thunder and lightening started and the heavens opened and it’s still chucking it down now and at one point the guttering wasn’t keeping up with it…it was and still is pouring into the yard.  So plans scuppered….I’m heading to the kitchen to see what’s available.  LN…Just the weather for ducks…LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 18, 2018, 4:57pm; Reply: 18
Monday 18th June

Seven start this morning and the day has just flown by.  Coffee out on the terrace first thing in the cool morning air and back in to cook breakfast for the troop.  Bacon and fried tomatoes on toast and an egg for my guest...I don't like the mixed flavours so I gave it a miss.

The morning was spent tidying up from yesterday.  Some of the plants were a little shaky in their pots because of the water level so I was emptying out the buckets especially in things like the larger shrubs and the lemon bush where there is a bucket without holes underneath to help them through the hot spells.  No need at the moment.  I shall be doing the same tomorrow after today's deluge....and didn't it come down.

The clouds started gathering around one and there was just time to get the washing in as they got darker.  The thunder was rumbling round earlier but only faintly but a few good claps, I took refuge in the house, settled on the sofa and the heavens opened.  The gutters were bursting and it was pouring out over the yard and I suddenly remembered that the pipes underneath the concrete by the entrance gates hadn't been cleared out for a while so I donned a waterproof. a hand trowel and out I went quoting Oates as I left the building...'this may take some time'...I was was about six inches deep and covered about three square meters so I cleared the drain holes and sent it down the lane.  The main drain outside the house didn't have any water flowing down it but they have dropped a load of soil in the path further up the road and I think that's probably blocking it.  So if stopped, more thunder, it started again and it's taken until seven to ease off completely.  Such strange weather.

Supper's in and I can smell that it needs attention.  I've put in barbecue pork spare ribs with small jacket potatoes and it should be ready any time now.  Pleasant day despite the weather and lots of little jobs achieved.  LN....Might be indoor swimming tomorrow...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 19, 2018, 6:01pm; Reply: 19
Tuesday 19th June

Silly five o'clock start, my hands were itching like fury and I can only guess that there were a couple of gnats in the bedroom having a field day.  I went to the bathroom to get some cream to put on them to stop the itch and noticed that the water heater was going and that the temperature hadn't risen much at all.  I've got the water heater on a timer clock that kicks in around three thirty and goes off about five thirty so that it doesn't cost me a fortune so I checked the timer and it was an hour out.  The electricity must have gone off so I reset it and put it on override... I wanted a shower and to wash my hair ...I was over the sell by date.  I went back to bed and got the little Lenovo out and did emails and FB and started to play Soda Crush and joy of joy...the one that I was stuck on yesterday is no more and further to that I knocked off three others in quicksticks and then came the difficult one that I'm now stuck on.....ah well... :-/

Down to the bread van this morning for sliced and unsliced, eggs and coffee biscuits.  Before it arrived I sat in my Avatar's garden and we started talking about ants for some reason and she complained that they were on one of her pretty flowering bushes.  I mentioned that cinnamon would deter them and asked her if she had any and she came out with a powder and it certainly wasn't cinnamon so I legged it home and came back with my pot and left it on the wall while we walked down to the van together.  I fancied a cheesy bread for breakfast but she had the last one so in jest I told her to enjoy it but in Turkish.  The driver cracked up, she offered to let me have it and I refused and we walked back together to her garden and I smothered the flowers and her plant in the cinnamon....and let's hope that it works.

Ms D of S popped in with her little beauty mid morning and we had a joyful interlude.  She picked up my treasures, I took them from her and we were on to the next.  Eventually we decided that the garden was the place to go where she could run around and we spend a while 'talking' to the sheep that were happily munching in the field next to the wall.  A few quick 'baa's' and they all started....I can now be classed as a sheep whisperer....maybe...

Off they went, I put wood preservative on the 'activity centre' bench that now has arms and I now have to do adjustments to the cushion and make new covers.  I've got the curtains to do it and let's see how long it takes me to 'get round to it'....Too nice to be in and doing but I've had no excuse over the last few days but having said that...the rain threatened around six this evening but it went over and so far so good.

Supper was pork breaded cutlets covered with the remains of last night's spicy barbecue sauce served with boiled potatoes, peas and carrots.  I don't think I'll be getting any Michelin stars yet awhile but I'll keep trying.  The wind that got up had died down and it's turned into a pleasant evening.  I'm hoping for a better night tonight, I shall be putting the mosquito thingy out to frighten off the wee beasties and fingers crossed it will do the trick.  Nothing on for tomorrow so's all pretty weather dependent.  LN...Rest time....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 20, 2018, 4:04pm; Reply: 20
Wednesday 20th June

What a change...a beautiful morning and it stayed that way for most of the day.  I put forward a suggestion that we could go swimming or go down to Greece but my guest had had a bad night so I dressed for the garden.  Poached eggs on ham for breakfast followed by my grapefruit marmalade, I moved outside and pottered for a while while he promptly went back to sleep in the chair.  There was a lot of commotion with the farmers dogs and the sheep.  There was another one barking on the hillside, the sheep were huddled against my wall and the dogs were standing guard.  Eventually the sheep farmer arrived, appraised the situation, made a phone call and peace was restored.  I weeded the vegetable patch and put a new piece of wood against the original surround so that the soil stayed in the bed and didn't get scattered on the lawn.  I came in for a drink, there was movement in the camp so I went out again and he got on the wrong end of the lawnmower and carried on where he'd left off yesterday.  

I was beginning to wonder where the day had gone.. it goes so quickly when you don't get moving until ten.  Suddenly there was a shout form the bottom of the garden .'camera' so I dutifully went in and got it from the house and headed down.  There was a male lizard with pretty markings and a really long tail standing completely still on the grass.  He stayed for a photo call and had to be shunted off the lawn so that the rest could be mowed.  I played around with the foam rubber for the cushions for the tarted up garden sofa and managed to fit them inside an old duvet cover so they will be sewn at a later date but back on the terrace and functional.  

As we sat chewing over the day a beautiful white kitten with a small ginger cat were legging it along the wall.  She obviously wanted nothing of his attention or intentions and she scuttled up the mulberry half way up the garden.  The male decided to lounge seductively on the wall until I approached and sent him packing and I encouraged the little one down.  She hopped down and off the wall into the field and the next minute she was back up,over the wall but the ginger one wasn't in pursuit, well probably was but I looked over the wall and he scarpered.  

So chicken legs are in the oven, onions, potatoes and beetroot are all baking and I can smell that it won't be long.  Quite a bit of activity today and it looks like the weather has settled down again...I shall be out there watering the garden again soon.  LN...Kitchen calls before it spoils.... LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 21, 2018, 5:22pm; Reply: 21
Thursday 21st June

So I woke up at one this morning and thought I'd got English neighbours....I'd left my little Lenovo on an English television channel...strange feeling.  I switched it off, went back to sleep ad it was just before seven when I to for the second time.  Down for a coffee and took it outside taking the cushions out with me and enjoyed the morning.  I had enough bread so didn't venture down to the van and ten minutes later my Avatar was at the door with a pot of fresh homemade yogurt.  We chatted for a while and off she went, I made boiled eggs for breakfast with toast and marmalade and I shall have to make some more the way that it's going down.  I got dressed, out to the garden and potted up some ginger from the kitchen that had started to bud.  I've never tried it before and I thought I'd give it a chance, it's supposed to like hot and humid so I've made containers out of three litre water bottles with the tops cut of and made into lids so that they should have the correct environment.  We shall see...I washed the container from the yogurt and took it back and spotted my Avatar in Beyser's garden so I sat with the ladies, mentioned that I was going in to Djebel and did they want anything but only Avatar took the hook asking for potatoes and water.

Djebel for a few things and went to the soup kitchen for lunch.  Met a few friends that are now working in Germany and now have families of their own...good catch-up.  We stopped off at the spring on the way back to fill up eight eleven litre bottles of water, one for Avatar and the rest for me and the flowers in the garden...they drink it...I don't.  Slept the afternoon away and went to deliver the water and the potatoes and suddenly the other women descended and complained that they didn't have water but didn't ask for any when I offered....Tough....

Off to Momchilgrad for supper tonight since the weather is good to see if there is water in the pool....Eight ten my time so have to get a wiggle on.  Only pictures of the donkey over the way and a strange bird and I'm still not sure if it's a magpie or a hooded crow...or 'a.en.other'  LN....Off to eat....LN


Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 22, 2018, 6:41pm; Reply: 22
Friday 22nd June

Seven start this morning and not a lot happening until I managed to get dressed at eleven thirty.  I cooked breakfast, sat out on the terrace enjoying the sun for what it was worth, watched the lizard on the terrace eating up the ants and bugs, made more coffee and listened to the birds.  It is with shame that I report it was so late getting dressed but I made up for it once I got started.

The garden called me...I dug round the wild plum and removed the old poppies and the weeds and planted up an Abelia that I'd grown from a cutting from a plant that I've had for a few years.  Normally the big one goes into the little house for winter and I thought I'd give this one the winter treatment and see how it goes.  I moved on to the little bed on the long wall of the little house and cleared out all the weeds...there are just so many of them...lots of rain and very hot days and they pop up from nowhere or so it seems.  Obviously we know that they come from seeds hidden in the soil... ;) ;)  The garden behind where the old toilet used to be is now free from weeds and tomorrow I might try to build a wall on the old concrete to save the bank from falling down.  From there I moved to the bottom of the garden, had a bonfire and started on the conifer bed, dug out round the new buddleia and removed even more rocks from around it giving it a fighting chance but they don't seem to demand much...the one that I put in last year is already four feet tall and has lots of flowers ready to burst open....let's hope like mother like daughter.

Avatar came round tonight and updated me with the news.  We did a tour of the garden and I'm still trying to persuade her to go for raised beds in her great expanse of grass and to put some shrubs in.  I've got lots that she can have for free and shrubs come up every year without much effort....maybe next year when her son comes over.  Cleared up and packed away by seven and it looked like we were in for another heave shower.  The thunder has been rumbling for most of the afternoon but we seem to have avoided it and the downpours that normally go with it.  Supper of spicy sausage with onions and chippies and I haven't cooked those in a while.  I did managed to clean out the chip pan before my guest came and in went new oil and they browned up nicely.  The boiler for the hot water is on...I'm going to linger in the bath to ease my aching limbs...all that bending down isn't good for one.  No photos worth publishing....I couldn't see the screen in the sun and missed everything by miles.  I'll pay more attention tomorrow,  LN....Off for a soak....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 23, 2018, 7:25pm; Reply: 23
Saturday 23rd June

It was a seven start this morning and after a very lazy bath last night I slept the sleep of the just.  I went out on to the terrace to drink my coffee but was aware of the noise of a lawn-mower and it was Avatar out bright and early cutting down the grass that had dared to grow.  She switched it off and I sat down with her and noticed that there was a bird feather peeping out of the filter cover so I asked her if she ever cleaned the filter to which her replay was...what's that.  So I removed the filter cover and washed the filter out and there was lots of dirt and oil in there.  She was amazed at my technical knowledge and really to amaze her, I checked the oil and said that she needed an oil change,  It was at this point that I passed the information over to my guest and he can earn his crust on her machine... ;) ;)  

I was down to the bread van in pyjama top and local baggy trousers, I needed fresh bread and owe him a lev...he had cheesy bread.  Boiled eggs for breakfast and I was just clearing away and Avatar was outside with her fuel can and asking if I wouldn't mind getting her some when we were in Kardjali today.  I gave her some for the machine guessing that it must have coughed and spluttered and that's why she wanted more and I picked up the empty can and put it ready to take to Kardjali.  

Down the back lane and that's got really bumpy since we had the torrential rain a few days ago and is desperately in need of something to fill up the potholes.  It's OK for me having quite a bit of ground clearance in the Beast but I reckon some of the smaller cars would have a real problem.  Normal car park, in to the cheapy shop and found a pair of pink cotton not so shorts, down to the market so that my guest could change up some money, I bought another oleander and some bug repellent plants from the market and back to the car within the hour more or less so now extra parking charges.  Over to Kaufland and bought a cheap electric mower to save lugging the biggie round in the pathways, topped up on food items and to Lidl for extra top ups and then it started raining.  It had been cloudy and threatening but we'd been lucky.  I stopped off at the petrol station and got ten leva's worth in the can, drove home and Avatar said that I'd given her just enough fuel to finish the job.  My lawn mower is assembled and it looks very twee, as the sun went down the rain came out in sympathy and brought with it a rainbow.  Lovely light tonight on the hillside and on the clouds rising from the hills....sunsets and sunrises a speciality here.

Tomorrow might be a mishmash....I'm waiting for decisions to be made as to what tomorrow will bring....but I have my secret hopes.  LN....Very pleasant day.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 24, 2018, 7:06pm; Reply: 24
Sunday 24th June

Unusual start to the day.  At five my home phone started to ring and me always expecting the worst, rush down to get it thinking that it might be a problem from the UK.  It stopped ringing before I could get to it so I unplugged it and took it upstairs and blow me it started to ring again only this time I checked the number and it was local.  I didn't say anything but a male voice said good morning to me in Bulgarian, I replied in English and asked who it was and what did he want.  It all went quiet on the line and again he said good morning so I asked him again what he wanted and then the line went dead.  If it was a dirty phone call, he didn't hide his number and I'm very tempted to ring it probably when he's gone to work and speak to his sounded like that sort of 'Good Morning....'   :-/

So I didn't get back to sleep and I've felt a bit crotchety all day....I went out in the garden in PJ's and yellow wellingtons since it had been raining overnight and suddenly I heard the bread van and realised that I needed to pay my debts from yesterday, wanted a brown loaf and ten eggs so I didn't bother to change and went down as I was.  Avatar emerged from her house and asked me to call in on the way back, she was going to cook me some yeasty pancakes for breakfast.  One loaf, ten eggs, debts paid and I watched Avatar slaving over a hot stove while she made six of the beauties and I skipped back home clutching my haul.  She also gave me five eggs from one of her neighbours despite my protestations,  So my guest had ham and local white cheese on his hot pancake while I had yogurt and pine tip syrup with mine...delicious if messy.  I got washed and dressed and out to the garden to weed the terrace bed, the large top bed by the grave garden, planted up some more tobacco, put in some snapdragons and cleared the weeds from the long garden under the little house terrace.   It's been a day of back braking work but somebody has to do it and there was only me available...until I took a break and caught some of the England match.

So worked outside until six thirty and watered all the pot plants.  Supper was pork escalopes with chippies and carrots followed by ice-cream and now I feel stuffed.  Nothing much on the agenda's very much weather dependent but it doesn't look too promising at the moment.....we are surrounded by clouds.  LN....Might catch a little tele....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 25, 2018, 5:59pm; Reply: 25
Monday 25th June

I slept in until just before eight today...I did wake at six but decided to get my head down again and felt better for it.  My guest was up already and performing ablutions, I made coffee and we sat out in the sun until hunger brought us inside and I started breakfast.  I had a couple of beef tomatoes that were starting to go soft and two spicy sausages that needed using up so needs as needs must.  I'd was upstairs when I hear a mighty crack on the window and it was photo shoot time.  A finch had gone hell for leather into the landing windows and lay in a large flower bowl looking much the worse for its experience.  It was beak open, eyes fluttering and tail resting on the rim of the pot.  We left it for while and then I started to move the bowl and it seemed to come to it's senses.  It held it's head up, closed its beak and managed to get its legs underneath it and I reckoned it would be OK given a little more time.  I went into the house and pottered for a while, went outside again, shook the bowl even harder, he was back into this world, flapped its wings and took off for the cherry tree.  I checked round the tree and found it must have made it but I bet it had one heck of a headache,,, :-/

So my next task was to go and high-jack my Avatar's petrol lawnmower from the back shed and wheel it over to mine for a check-up.  She'd gone off to Djebel and my guest very kindly offered to give it the once over and oil change if necessary.  He checked the oil and oiled the wheel bearings, a thorough clean and the it seemed to run very smoothly.  I took it back and she still hadn't returned and brought the electric one over so that could have the same treatment.  This was more of a problem,....mainly plastic body but he removed the blade and straightened it had had a hard time and bashed a few bricks in its time.  There was also a strange cable arrangement where someone had attached a normal plug to it and when we took it back, and by this time she had come back from Djebel, she produced the correct plug and it was put in the machine.  She was over the moon...asked how much it was going to cost and I came back with the stock reply of 'sto lev' and she said that she could afford fifty but no more.  I laughed and we scuttled off...we don't take money for that sort of work.

Coming back into the gate we noticed that the support that had been applied to lift the gate up so that it opened with no effort were no longer effective.  A bastard bovine had obviously stuck its head through the gate to get at the honeysuckle for a tasty snack and somehow had managed not to get stuck.  Desperate times, desperate measures....I had some metal galvanised wire mesh so we set to and lined the inside of the gates and there is no way a cow can stick its head through now.  A bit of a lengthy was stiff to work with but it's attached and that's all that matters.

As for the rest of my seedlings still need housing but that will have to wait for another day.  I've been more of a builder's mate ...'just pass me this, and 'can you hold this'.  There are still clouds gathering over Smolyan but at least it's clear towards Greece.  Supper was a mixture of potatoes, beans and a can of corned beef mixed with some beetroot and made into a was a hash but a tasty one, ice-cream to follow....I feel a diet coming on.  Nothing on the cards so far for tomorrow....just go with the flow.  LN...Down time...LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 26, 2018, 3:14pm; Reply: 26
Tuesday 26th June

Six thirty start but I lay in bed  listening to the weather...and was raining.  The UK is basking in sunshine, I've watched Eastbourne tennis this afternoon and it's wall to wall with the players being shielded from the sun by umbrellas.  Much different here....and it's June for goodness sake.  Down for seven, coffee and sitting around until eight, breakfast of bacon and egg at eight thirty and fully washed and kitchen tidy by nine fifteen.  It was cold, miserable and raining but it looked like a good day to get the petchka pipes out and so I did.

Out with the pipes and into the porch, cleaned the boiler inside and out and by this time it had stopped so I moved outside to clean out the pipes.  There wasn't a lot in there but I felt happier doing guest has a habit of keeping the home fires burning with only gas fires at home...this is a novelty so the more the merrier.  The more up the chimney the better so I take precautions.  So all back together again and I checked out the chimney pipes in the downstairs toilet and there wasn't a lot of rubbish in there so I lit a small fire to check that there were no leaks and smoke pouring out and everything was good.  

So as the rain set in I became more lethargic and took to the sofa with my Kindle.  I found a you-tube video of the maps of Game of Thrones but that was even more confusing that the books since it took it way back into the brain of George M M Martin.  The second one explained who Jon Snow's father was but so many ran off with others and they were related to and so on and so forth.  I put that video to bed too.  It was at this point that I got settled in to the tennis and I'm watching Jo Konta about to finish her game and go through, I've done my time in the kitchen and there's a pork curry cooking for tonight and I only have to do the rice.....Shinmples...that's the sort of supper I cooks itself.  The house is toasty, the fire has been kept in all day and it cheers the house up.....I hate cold and miserable.

I've just watched the shepherd went his way over the hillside with bedraggles sheep.  I bet he's pretty fed up with the weather too.  LN....It could be indoor swimming tomorrow...LN

Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 27, 2018, 5:34pm; Reply: 27
Wednesday 27th June

Oh, oh. Noah.....Noah didn't it rain.....and it was throwing it down until eleven this morning.  Breakfast was a catasatrophe.  My guest fancied an omelette so it  was out with the usual frying pan but I'd forgotten that i'd fried tomatoes in it and it had taken the coating off.  I ended up scrambling three eggs for me and out came the new pan that I've only had seven years or so and used twice and that did the omelette to perfection.  Toast to follow and then down to computer games until the rain stopped.

It seemed to slow down and then it came back with a vengeance, the sky got lighter, quickly out with the washing and it managed to dry it before it started again.  I spent the first part of the day emptying out the containers again...the poor plants were drowning,  The seeds were getting washed away and it was my job today to get them in the ground but I only succeeded in clearing one of the petunia pots into the bed under the little house terrace...only three more containers to shift :-/,  My guest was busy edging one of the flower beds for me and I decided that the tomatoes wanted a haircut and boy did they have it but I notice that I've got a few already set and growing.  The peppers are doing well as are the beetroot and as for cucumbers, four already plucked and eaten and  the next lot on the production line.  We really need to mention the one carrot...I should put more seeds in especially for the ants.

Washing on the clothes airier in the bathroom, the shower turned out to be nothing and so I was out there again tackling the big flower bed at the bottom of the garden.  It wasn't easy to clear...there were old fashioned marigolds growing in there along with zinnia, french marigolds and tobacco so I had to replant those as quickly as they came out.  There is more order to the planting now but my final shot was to remove the wooden surround from the bed.  I'd used old fencing and was never pleased with it so a proper job will be done on it tomorrow weather permitting.  I haven't a clue what to do for supper so I better head down and see what I can find...there's got to be something quick in the freezer.  Looks like the rain might keep off tonight...fingers crossed,,,the plans for the ark can go away and I'll cancel the order for the wood.  LN...Kitchen calls....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 28, 2018, 4:39pm; Reply: 28
Thursday 28th June

Seven start for me and no visual sign of my guest but there were noises coming form the bedroom of the snoring variety.  I got washed and dressed fairly quickly and as I left the porch the bread man tooted his horn and I headed down to the square.  Bit of an amusing one this morning, Zelinger appeared and I thought she was asking me for 'Borkanni'...jars for making jam and stuff but she was telling me that she had a 'porkanni' for me which is translated as 'an invitation' for the wedding.  Haciber was at the van and when I went to see my Avatar, Haciber appeared so I related the story.  It was at this point that we spotted the difference.  Doh...and now I know a new word.  I brought back a cheesy bread from the van and cooked bacon and fried eggs and made sandwiches with the bread...delicious .  

So it was chucking it down again when I went out to the van and we had our first interlude around twelve.  I went out there with the trowel and planted up some of my babies, was out there for about an hour when it started again.  More emptying of pots...I feel like a chambermaid and I suppose the solution would be to leave them out of the buckets.  I really didn't expect it to go on for so long.

Daffodil bulbs are washed and i the little house to dry and will eventually get netted up.  Fabulous skies this afternoon if you like that sort of thing and one clap of thunder really caught me out and made me jump.  It's still cloudy but the sun is lingering over Smolyan but for how long I'm not really sure.  Supper is in which is better than last night.  I made it to the kitchen and still didn't make anything.  Neither of us were in the mood for 'real food' and picked at crisps and nuts...very healthy...not.  Tonight we have barbecued spare rib with roasted vegetables and red cabbage...quite a plateful and I'm looking forward to it.  As for tomorrow...I think we'll head into Kardjali if the rain keeps off.  I think we both have cabin fever...except that it's fine, you go out and then you have to come in again and take up where you left off with books and the likes.  LN...Kitchen calls, supper is ready.....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 29, 2018, 5:48pm; Reply: 29
Friday 29th June

Seven start, beautiful moon last night as it broke over the mountains and the clouds were gently scudding over it,  It was very bright last night and I tried to see if there was a portent for a very yellow moon but it all it gave me was a harvest moon but we're not really near and never will be if it keeps on raining.  I missed the bread van so waited for him to appear on his way back.  I took a walk down to the bench on the square and my Avatar was in her glad rags and Zelinger was with her and I related the story of the 'invitation' as opposed to 'jars for bottling' and she found it very funny.  She is very insistent that I get an invitation to her grandson's wedding, It's at Makazza and I'm not sure some of the old dears from the village will make it through to the end.  It starts at seven and ends at midnight...I think some of them might be asleep on the coach on the way back.  My Avatar was heading into Djebel to meet up with her brother ...he's going to Turkey for a month and I noted that she'd put washing out and I really didn't think it would get dry having seen the forecast.  Off they went, they didn't wait for the bus and managed to get a life from a young lad from the lower village.

I walked home and managed to stop the bread van and pay my debts...I prefer it that way.  No cooking breakfast for me, we headed into Djebel and went to one of the cafes for a banichka and yogurt drink and carried on to Kardjali and by this time the weather had cleared and it was pleasant walking around.  We carried on to the bank, I raided the cash point and then on to the cheapy clothes shop to see what was on offer.  I found a red rain jacket for me and a hooded top for my guest and the bill for both was seven leva....and both brand new...who throw such stuff away!!  Paid my phone bill. went to Kaufland and stocked up and over to Lidl and back home via Djebel to get some black tea for my guest.  Lidl and Kaufland have stopped selling it...they seem to stick to the fruity stuff.

When we arrived home it started to rain, not heavy but really big spots so I headed over to Avatar's garden and collected her washing seeing that she wasn't home.  I brought it back and put it on the clothes airer in the conservatory just as it started to pour down.  I'd left the Beast out so decided to put it in the garage and as I was walking back to the house, Avatar appeared and asked if I had her washing....Apparently she'd been round the other neighbours first and I was her last resort and was surprised to see that they were virtually dry and on the's what we British do.

Supper in the over and over with.  Chicken wings and roasted vegetables and I'm stuffed to the gills.  The rain seems to have stopped for now, there's a strange light lingering, the start of a rainbow that came to nothing and I've noticed that I have three new white roses out on my bush near the front wall.  Second flowering this year.  So washing up done, time to relax and take stock.  Let's see what tomorrow's weather brings as to what activities we can get up to.  LN....It might be ark building....LN
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 30, 2018, 4:18pm; Reply: 30
Saturday 30th June

Five thirty start and it was persisting it down again and my, didn't it rain.  Coffee inside, no breakfast on the terrace, it was a gloomy old morning,  Breakfast of bacon, mushrooms, sausage and egg and that set me up for a couple of hours on the sofa with Soda Crush and at last I managed to complete one of the games that I've been working on for the last ten days.  It was a bummer.  Fortunately it allowed me to work through the next few games without any obstruction or objections from the powers that be and then I came up against another one that I know will take me some time...Oates.

Eventually we got out to the garden by one thirty, worked on the edging by the mulberry tree and came in about thirty minutes later.  Back to the sofa and out again after about  an hour or so and it's turned into a beautiful evening.  The garden is so waterlogged though....I have gardens under about four inches of water and the drain holes in the wall are going like crazy trying to catch up with it.  It really has been an onslaught.

So this afternoon I noticed how many different varieties of mushrooms and  toadstools are growing in the garden.  There was one peculiar one that looked like a flower and there were clusters of them.  Eventually we managed to finish the edging round the tree and I've managed to get some rooted cuttings from the white daisies where we had to cut them back to put the wood in.  Haciber happened to appear in the garden at the same time and handed me some chocolates that her son has brought back from I handed her a cutting and told her it  would be like the clump at the end of the terrace and she went away happy.

Not sure what's for supper....I've just heard the bag of peanuts tipped into a dish downstairs so I am assuming the hunger games have started.  LN...I have work to  do....LN

Photos to little machine doesn't do photos well....arrhhhh
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 30, 2018, 4:47pm; Reply: 31 they are...
Posted by: Elsa Peters, June 30, 2018, 4:51pm; Reply: 32
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